It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Beyond DNA! Prions Point to a New Form of Evolution (VIDEO)

page: 1
10

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 09:03 AM
link   

Beyond DNA! Prions Point to a New Form of Evolution (VIDEO)




In 2010 scientists from the Scripps Research Institute showed for the first time that 'lifeless' organic substances with no genetic material — prions similar to those believed responsible for Mad Cow disease and similar, rare conditions in humans — are capable of evolving just like higher forms of life...

More recently, researchers at MIT (see video below) have discovered that prion molecules can clamp onto DNA and prevent some parts of the sequence from being read, leading to genetic changes
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.philly.com
www.physorg.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Prion Proteins Play Powerful Role in Survival, Evolution
The real midichlorians: A case for Pleomorphism




posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 09:03 AM
link   
Prions are best known for causing Mad Cow disease by infecting the brain's prion protein, but virtually any protein can misfold, become a prion and cause disease. Prions are not alive - and contrary to science dogma, their shape is just as important as their chemistry.




Large proteins are to chemistry what War and Peace is to the alphabet: incredibly long and stuffed with more data than the human mind knows what to do with. Even the shape encodes information, and amazingly that's the aspect attacked by infectious prions – they're transmitted shapes, twisting healthy prions into catalytic carriers of their own twisted form.


Turns out that prions don't just evolve, they allow cells to "try out" changes without committing them to the genetic code - changes that can be passed on and inherited without DNA involvement.

How The Environment And A Single Protein Influence Evolution



The GOOD NEWS: Seems only beneficial changes triggered by prions become permanent, and modify DNA after a few "test" generations. The unfortunate failures, aka "genetic" disease, are NOT permanent.

But there you have it - inheritance without genes, only proteins.


Inheritance Without Genes? Yeast Does It With Proteins

Scientists have long wondered why our brains contain proteins called prions, which from a medical standpoint seem like a huge liability. The prions in our brains make us vulnerable to mad cow disease and other brain wasting conditions that are caused by misfolded versions of these prions that clump up. It was a shock to the scientific community that any infection could be transmitted not by an organism but by a protein - an inanimate molecule. That discovery eventually led to a Nobel Prize for biologist Stanley Prusiner.

Now, research published yesterday in the journal Nature shows that yeast cells carry prions that can enhance survival, helping the organisms adapt to stressful conditions. Prions not only spread disease, they can also pass traits from one generation to the next. In doing so, they may allow an alternative mechanim for evolution to proceed.


At present, these effects are only proved in yeast - but the writing is on the wall. We are facing a major paradigm shift that promises to impact everything from the "germ theory of disease" to Big Pharma and all our polluting industries.




(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 09:30 AM
link   
I know I have very little scientific support for what I am about to say, but it is something that, to me, seems obvious and needs scientific support as much as we need scientific support to know that there is life elsewhere in the universe. To me, its obvious.

The emergence of life is no accident. It didn't happen because the right substances happened to luckily be mixed together. After all, it was light that transformed one building block of DNA into another building block. Due to the transformative capabilities of light, it seems evident, to me, that light itself is information and is probably capable of transforming a wide variety of matter into something organic.

There is a God, and that God, as far as I know, can be defined as "intelligent energy". Life breeds life. Life does not and cannot come from something that is not alive. There is no such thing as inanimate and there is no such thing as lifeless. When you die, all that dies is your focus of awareness as a human whole. Your awareness takes a new form. You become aware of awareness itself.

There is one consciousness and that consciousness is at the root of all energy.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 02:55 PM
link   
reply to post by smithjustinb
 



Life does not and cannot come from something that is not alive.


Hmm. Best define "alive" if you're going to make such statements, and explain how your definition compares with standard scientific ones.

On the same note, can you please explain exactly how you categorize infectious viruses and microbes like bacteria in your scheme of "life," if not prions? Also, can you please explain how viruses and microbes mutate, adapt and evolve?

Thank you.



posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 05:33 PM
link   
I've always found prions really interesting. I also find it interesting that proteins can do so many different "life" functions. Afterall they are what act out our DNA's plan in the first place.

But what separates viruses, which are just proteins with mRNA or some other nucleic acid, and proteins from bacteria and higher lifeforms are the fact that bacteria on up can respond to stimuli, maintain homeostatis, procreate, metabalize etc... yes prions and viruses can do some of these things but they can't meet every criteria for life.

You could say the same thing about fire. It needs oxygen to breath, it can spread, and it does use fuel, but it isn't alive.



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 07:49 AM
link   
reply to post by Swing80s
 



...bacteria on up can respond to stimuli, maintain homeostatis, procreate, metabalize etc... yes prions and viruses can do some of these things but they can't meet every criteria for life.


Prions certainly respond to stimuli, evolve and propagate - as do viruses. Both seem to be rather incredibly efficient at mimicking "life" without having to carry all the baggage of life.

More on topic, seems clear that prions are a critical part of life, even if they aren't alive themselves. Does it really matter if they meet every criteria for life? Or if they are defined as "living"?

...What if bacteria's and other complex organisms' response to stimuli starts with the protein/prion response, and spreads from there? Which is how it seems to work.




edit on 18/2/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 08:34 AM
link   
reply to post by smithjustinb
 


As an added note, the case can be made that the Bible cautions us about prions, and the predictable impacts of environmental contamination (including pollution, drinking and smoking for example).

The Bible warns, "the iniquity of the fathers will be visited unto the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation" in at least four verses, including Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 5:9 and 24:16, and Ezekiel 18:20.

The Biblical statements accurately describe the inheritance of non-genetic traits, aka epigenetics - and three to four generations is exactly how long contemporary scientific research shows prion-induced epigenetic changes or inheritable 'diseases' last if they are not beneficial, and do not become permanently encoded in the DNA.

In this light, "iniquities" can be understood as "exposures," and the "visiting unto the children" refers to inheritable effects, not punishing children for their fathers' sins. The difference is clarified in Deuteronomy and Ezekiel:


(Deuteronomy 24:16) - "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin."
(Ezekiel 18:20) - "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."




PS. Big oops. Just noticed I forgot to post the link for the source article. Here it is: Beyond DNA! Prions Point to a New Form of Evolution (VIDEO)



posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 10:35 PM
link   
Yes but simply prions are just mishaped proteins. Proteins by themselves can't reproduce they need to be coded for by DNA onto codons and made from ribosomes. If by chance there's a prion that's misfolded that mishapes every single protein it attaches to it is not "replicating" or "reproducing", just damaging proteins over and over again.

You can't say that because a fire spreads, that means that the fire reproduces, it is just spreading rapid oxidation of a substance to another.

Now things do get complicated when you break down exactly everything that happens in life processes, but as far as life processes here on earth are concernered, they do originate from nucleic acid, but they must also be able to carry out the nucleic acid's codes by themselves without a host. That's why viruses aren't alive.

As far as extraterrestrial processes go, that's a whole other story... There could be worms made out of molten lava swimming around in there for all I know!



posted on Feb, 22 2012 @ 05:28 PM
link   
reply to post by Swing80s
 


Not sure what your point is. Are you saying that prion diseases are irrelevant because prions do not meet your criteria for life? ...Or that proteins do not evolve because they are not alive and shape doesn't count even though a protein's shape determines its function and effect?



PS. Prions are said to "propagate" - and yes, they have the capacity to "infect" similar proteins on contact and turn them into prions too. Nifty in its own way.





edit on 22/2/12 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 10:22 AM
link   
NewScientist revised their text:



“It means that ‘protein mutations’, or prions, have a strong impact on [the physical appearance of an organism], so not all evolution is occurring through a DNA change,” Chernoff says.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 10:34 AM
link   
Prions have no genetic material?

I wonder if prions are responsible for what know as demons then. They have to capture a host to have a living form and can spread from host to host while retaining sentience. Perhaps, they do this by existing as prions.



posted on Oct, 15 2016 @ 10:39 AM
link   
a reply to: RedDragon

Nope. Those are viruses.






posted on Oct, 18 2016 @ 02:08 PM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 




top topics



 
10

log in

join